Middle Class Problems: We need to redecorate, but do we need to do it in such a way that we sound like a class-A banker?


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The Independent Online

What colour is elephant's breath, exactly? Obviously, actual elephants (Dumbo aside) are various shades of grey, but their breath? Hard to tell. I've seen my breath – on a cold day, at least. It looks sort of white, doesn't it. Because it's vapour. So my guess would be that a pachyderm's exhalations would be similar.

Wrong! According to Farrow & Ball, anyway. For them, it's, well, grey. A brownish grey, I'll grant you, but who comes up with these names? I ask only because a friend recently said he was going to re-do his place in elephant's breath and I honestly thought he was on something – which really wasn't "on", because he was at that moment attending a very refined tea party at our home (babies covering the sofa in crumbs and the cat cowering upstairs aside).

It is the sort of name that makes you feel like wasting the Bank Holiday weekend in any other conceivable way. Certainly we need to redecorate the baby's room to hide the water damage from that leak, but do we need to do it in such a way that we sound like a class-A banker? How do you even ask for that in a shop without dread embarrassment?

Anyway, who wants to paint their home grey? It's a colour that, at best, is wannabe goth, and at worst reflects the more miserable weather of these not-so fair isles.

So we're going to avoid the elephant's breath entirely. We've settled on Dulux's far brighter (and cheaper) Lemon Chiffon 4. And which man wouldn't proudly display his metrosexual side by asking the local DIY shop to mix that specially for him?